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Small black worms in my 50 gallon tank? harmless? help!
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SarahKnight1
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Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Location: Riverview,Florida

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)3:21    Post subject: Small black worms in my 50 gallon tank? harmless? help! Reply with quote

Hello!
My fiance & I have a fifty gallon tank,and I'm getting very agitated with it right now.
I've never had problems with it before until recently.


I was sitting at my desk at my computer (the tank is next to it) and I noticed the filters were trickling.I've had a lot going on lately & totally forgot about the filters.so,I got out new filter cartridges,and changed them,scooped the algae out of the filters on the top,and carried the pipes into the bathroom to rinse out.as I dropped the pipes in the sink,I noticed a small black worm crawling up the side of the bathroom sink.I can't really describe it all to well,because I was disgusted,and quickly turned the water on hot,and washed it down the drain.I can tell you,it had what looked like small legs (I may be mistaken) and it was black with tiny white stripes going up its body,and had small hair like projections on its back end.it completely grossed me out,since I clean the filters & everything with bare hands.after cleaning the filter pipes,I carried them back in my bedroom to put back in the tank,and noticed ANOTHER one squirming on my desk outside the tank.I squashed it before I got a good look at it.I got out the clorox & cleaned my desk everything around it! haha. (I'm a germ-a-phobe.)

I'm COMPLETELY floored.I have no idea where they came from or what they are.I keep my tank as clean as I can,and I've never had this kind of problem before ever.I'm scared they are hazardous to me or my fish.I only saw those two and no others,I didn't really want to look.ick! I posted a question on yahoo answers,but all I got back were sarcastic comments on just " throwing my fish in the river & not worrying about a tank anymore". -.-'' one person did say it might be mosquito larvae,but it really looked nothing like it.I will say,I do not clean or change my water as often as I should (:O) but I do clean my filters,treat the water,and such.since it is such a big & deep tank,I never really have time to clean the gravel,and when I do,it creates a big watery mess & I get very frustrated.

(my fish are very healthy & have no problems,the water is always clear.I will admit the gravel needs a good cleaning though.I do not feed my fish live food or live worms.only dried canned meal worms,and I feed the cichlid "Tetra cichlid",since he is large,and the "sticks" are perfect size. Razz)

I was also told they might have been leeches...? I did have 5 baby fish & two tadpoles that I got from our local spring in the tank awhile back (about several months ago,if not more.) I put them in there & eventually fed them to my cichlid.I know,not a smart idea.we swim in the springs all the time & I've never had a leech on me,ever.it's a popular place to swim,so I'm sure they would not let us swim if there were leeches anyways.plus,if they were,wouldn't they be on my hands from cleaning the tank? AND,I've cleaned the tank multiple times since then,and I've never seen those things in it until now.

I had another turtle awhile back that I found in my front yard,raised him,and released him over the summer that was in the tank.(I now have a softshell in the other tank.he was found by my brother in law as his job,and he gave him to me to take care of.I'm going to release him when he is big enough as well.)


my main questions are;
-what are they?
-are they harmful to me or my fiance,since we clean the tanks with bare hands?
-how do I get rid of them?



(When my fiance gets home,we are changing the water & cleaning the gravel & the filters tonight.wish me luck!)

Thanks for any advice,help you can give me


Shocked Shocked
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Sarah
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Darkblade48
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)6:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is hard to say what it may be, but it is likely introduced when you brought fish from your local streams back. It may have been something the turtle had, etc.

A clear picture would be extremely helpful.
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FishFlake
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Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)7:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's in this tank? Cichlids, turtles, tadpoles, wild fish from a spring? I'm confused. Shocked
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SarahKnight1
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Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Location: Riverview,Florida

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)12:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha,I'm sorry if I was not clear.
The turtles USED to be in the tank,I took them out and gave them their own tank about four months ago.the spring fish I fed to the cichlid about 7 months ago,if not more.so it's been awhile.all thats in there now is my cichlid & my suckerfish.
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SarahKnight1
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Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Location: Riverview,Florida

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)12:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony~Do you mean like,a picture-picture? I didn't get one,I was too grossed out! Razz

They were about as long a a eraser on a pencil,black,with what looked like small legs,and two small projections on its back end.I'm scared there may be more in the filter.I don't think they are harmful though,since they are probably living on the algae in the filter.my mother did point out they may be meal worm larvae from the mealworms I used to feed the cichlid.
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rales12
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Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)13:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure these creatures came from your aquarium? Like... did you see it drop out of your filter tube and into the sink? And have you seen any of them IN your aquarium?

Your description of them sounds suspiciously like an earwig, which are certainly nasty little bugs (IMO)... but harmless, as far as I know.

Google the mealworm larvae and see if any of the pictures look similar to the bugs.
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SarahKnight1
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Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Location: Riverview,Florida

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

I googled the mealworm larvae thing,and it turns out mealworms themselves are beetle larvae (duh) lol.

I only saw the two that I saw when I was messing with the filters.I do not see them in/around the water (I've been looking all evening) I think they are in the filter.I am not messing with the tank anymore until this weekend.my fiance & I are going to clean everything & do a water change on saturday since we did not have enough time to tonight.

I'm thinking they could have come from a number of things,the newest turtle,or maybe the mealworms had something in them from ANOTHER bug or creature...? I think the possibilities are endless.I know it must have come from something recently,because last time I cleaned the filters,which was last month,I never saw them.
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Sarah
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diademhill
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PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)17:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

They sound like dragonfly or mayfly larvae.
Harmful to tiny fish as they are predators.
They will have come in with stuff from a river.

How many, what proportion, of the filter cartridges are you changing?
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SarahKnight1
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Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Location: Riverview,Florida

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)19:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you mean how frequently I change them or which ones do I change? I didn't really understand.
Whenever I change one,I usually change the other.depends on how long ago I changed them.

After googling images of the mayfly & dragonfly larvae,it DOES look like mayfly larvae,but it did not have legs that long,and it was much darker.the things I saw that might have been legs were very tiny,almost centipede like.this may have been the water from the sink underneath it,because the other one I saw on my desk looked like it had no legs,like it was squirming.
I have no tiny fish in my tank,so if it is mayfly larvae,I don't have to worry about that.

I must be confusing some of you.if I am,I'm very sorry.I'm just trying to get an idea of what they are.
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Sarah
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SarahKnight1
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Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Location: Riverview,Florida

PostPosted: 2010.09.01(Wed)19:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just thinking,does anyone know of any treatment or anything I could put in the water to get rid of whatever they are? I'm sure other people have had this problem before,so there must be something I can buy to clean the water & filters...? WHATEVER they are,I've learned my lesson with bringing things into my tank from our springs Embarassed
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